What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

Canada
November 6, 2008 4:02pm CST
Do they taste the same? Are they the same? Thank You Everyone.
5 people like this
16 responses
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
6 Nov 08
Hi, Grandmaof2. I don't know the difference and I wish I did. So thank you for starting this discussion. Maybe we both will learn something.
5 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Well I still rated you + for being so kind. Take Care and thanks for being here even if you didn't know.
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12649)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I have often wondered that too, hehe. They look the same. They taste good when you bake them with lots of brown sugar. Other then that I don't know much about them. Maybe with this post we will both get an education about sweet potatoes.
4 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Everyone gets a + rating for being here. You just gotta love myLot, we as a team can mend anything except a broken heart. hehehe.
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12649)
• United States
7 Nov 08
You got some good informative responses for your question. Mylot might not be able to mend a broken heart, but the people here sure can help it heal. Mylot rocks!!
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
I love sweet potatoes which are sweeter than yams. I boil them, mashed, casseroles all different ways. Here is a link to one of the many websites that describe the differences http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html
4 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Well that does explain a lot alright!!! Thank You for taking the time to send me this. I appreciate it very much.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Nov 08
You are welcome and thanks for the BR
2 people like this
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
6 Nov 08
Yams are sweeter in taste and the sweet potatoes are sweet, but not as the yams.. I have always wondered the same thing too. There is an difference in the taste of them.. Great discussion! You made me think!
4 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
I've rated you a + also or being here and for the help you did offer.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
7 Nov 08
They taste the same, but sweet potatoes are tubers and yams are not. The trouble is that up here in Canada, they call sweet potatoes yams. http://homecooking.about.com/od/howtocookvegetables/a/sweetpotatodiff.htm The ones to the right are sweet potatoes, the brown one is a yam. They can be interchantged in cooking. We hardly see any real yams here in Winnipeg, unless in a speciality market and I think they can be used the same. I have not tasted a real yam yet, but heard they are sweeter than sweet potatoes.
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Ok Thank You for your response and the link. Everyone here has helped me on this and I appreciate it. This link is nice Thanks.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I have often wandered the same thing. they look the same to me. This is what I found though. What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. Sweet Potatoes, often called ‘yams’, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family. Yams Yams are closely related to lilies and grasses. Native to Africa and Asia, yams vary in size from that of a small potato to a record 130 pounds (as of 1999). There are over 600 varieties of yams and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier. Sweet Potatoes The many varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea. The skin color can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. When cooked, those in the ‘firm’ category remain firm, while ‘soft’ varieties become soft and moist. It is the ‘soft’ varieties that are often labeled as yams in the United States. Why the confusion? In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’ because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, ‘soft’ sweet potatoes were referred to as ‘yams’ to distinguish them from the ‘firm’ varieties. Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.’ Unless you specifically search for yams, which are usually found in an international market, you are probably eating sweet potatoes! http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html
3 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Thank You very much. Lots of answers here. I need three BR so far for this discussion. Not going to happen obviously but everyone gets a + rating and as usual I am so grateful to myLot friends. Thank You stephcjh.
2 people like this
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I was told that Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber and other nutrition then Yams. Yam --nutritional info http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2726/2 Sweet potatoes http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2
3 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Well Thank You very much. This is informative. I often wish we had a chance to offer at least two BR. Yes well this is one of those times my friend.
2 people like this
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
7 Nov 08
It's funny you should start a discussion about this! last week at work we were discussing the same thing and guess what? No one knows! LOL....I'll check some of the responses and see if I learn something new today.
3 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Yes I have always wondered and as always myLot has come through for me one more time!!! You just have to love myLot!!! Thanks for your response +.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15210)
• United States
7 Nov 08
Whether the supermarket calls them sweet potatoes or yams, here on our American continent, what we buy are sweet potatoes. Yams are different. Also the yam sometimes listed as an ingredient in soba noodles is sweet potato. As stephcjh mentioned real yams are mostly found in African and Asia and they are huge and often made into flour, being dier and not as sweet as the tubers our supermarkets often call yams.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15210)
• United States
7 Nov 08
drier, not "dier" ---that type was dire
1 person likes this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
We're not sure but it must drier, than "dier." hehee The important thing is you're here doing your best to help me out. Thank You.
1 person likes this
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I also wondered this myself. I think I will also go to FITDAY.com and look up the carb counts of each.
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
I've never heard of these different links people have given me and I'm happy to have them. Thank You very much dear friend.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19598)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
7 Nov 08
Don't sweet potatoes have a yellowy flesh whereas yams are orange?
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Nov 08
Couldn't prove it by me??? Thanks though.
2 people like this
@irishmist (3820)
• United States
10 Nov 08
I don't really think there is much of a difference, they both kinda taste the same to me, but I really don't eat them that often, only around the holiday season.
1 person likes this
@crazydaisy (3899)
• Canada
8 Nov 08
There's is not that much difference in them of what I know one is sweeyer than the other that all. cd
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I always thought they were the same but they are really not.Here's what I discovered. Sweet Potatoes Popular in the American South, these yellow or orange tubers are elongated with ends that taper to a point and are of two dominant types. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. The darker-skinned variety (which is most often called "yam" in error) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture. Current popular sweet potato varieties include Goldrush, Georgia Red, Centennial, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Velvet. Yams The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato. Slowly becoming more common in US markets, the yam is a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets, with over 150 varieties available worldwide. Generally sweeter than than the sweet potato, this tuber can grow over seven feet in length. The word yam comes from African words njam, nyami, or djambi, meaning "to eat," and was first recorded in America in 1676. The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. They are at home growing in tropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Yams contain more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content. They are also marketed by their Spanish names, boniato and ñame.
1 person likes this
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
10 Nov 08
I have always thought they were the same...It might be the shape of them.......I ask my Mom that same thing once & my Mom said they were basically the same except one one more round & the other was more long & thin..The taste is the same and i really think most people call them by both names...
• United States
10 Nov 08
This is a great discussion. I didn't know the difference between the two and went to the link that whiteheather39 had on her response. Learn something new everyday. I always thought that the two names were for the same thing. Glad I read your discussion and the responses that were made to it.